E*Trade Group is continuing its expansion into the European marketplace with the launch of an online broking operation in Germany.
The German outpost provides real-time trading in national stocks, bonds and warrants as well as US equities on all major US exchanges using a multi-currency trading account. The site also offers users the opportunity to invest in 4000 German listed mutual funds.
The service offers real-time streaming prices, breaking news, company research, portfolio management tools, SMS alerts, charting and educational content with a combination German and English user interface. The company also claims to be the first in Germany to launch an active investor service, Power E*TRADE, with Level II data on German and US markets and analytical tools previously confined to institutional investors. Additional third-party content is supplied by S&P, Multex, Reuters, Big Charts and ClearStation.
Joshua Levine, chief technology officer and managing director of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, E*Trade Group, says: "Entering the German market is a vital milestone in advancing our vision of a single global technology platform."
According to JP Morgan, Germany has an estimated 2.1 million online brokerage accounts and accounts for 49% market share in online brokerage accounts across the main European markets.
E*Trade's formidable presence will add to the pressure on existing players in an already-crowded marketplace. Prior to E*Trade's arrival, Consors, the third-largest of the national online brokers is understod to have been sounding out the prospect of a merger with larger rivals Comdirect and DAB. Speculation is rife that E*Trade may be forced to acquire a local brokerage if it is to make any significant headway against the incumbent operators.